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Fig. 183. The Wing cement silo, durable, air-tight construction.
animals partake more directly of the outgrowths of the soil and are more directly influenced thereby.
A profitable stock-farm on which are kept cattle, horses or sheep, should be sufficiently fertile to
yield the subsistence of the animals. There should be enough land to provide pasture, meadow and arable fields where grain, roots and forage may be grown. There is not usually on stockfarms sufficient profit to enable the farmer to buy a large part of the food for the animals.
The equipment of the stockfarm should include a certain amount of pasture-land. Nothing will take the place of this. The right sort of pasture affords cheap subsistence, and any pasture affords the outdoor living without which animals will not possess native vigor and thrift.
When land is dear and the stock on the farm is in excess of its capacity to carry them on pasture, the pasture may be supplemented advantageously by feeding soiling crops in connection with the grazing. Racks may be set out on the poorer spots on the pasture-land, and filled daily with green clovers or other forage, mown and brought freshly to the spot. Or the soiling crops may be fed in the barn, where they will be consumed during the heat of day, the pasture being resorted to during the night and cooler parts of the day. Thus treated, animals thrive remarkably, since they have an abundance of fresh forage and are not dependent on the pasture-grass, which may fail during droughts.
Fences and buildings.
The further equipment should consist of strong fences and gates. The arable part of the farm may as well be in one large enclosure, on which no hoof shall intrude except as sections of it are set aside by hurdles or portable fences to be grazed by sheep or lambs. Fences should be so strong, tight and high that there never will be any temptation to the animals to pass them. The pastures should be divided into three or more pig. lM. The Bonham portable pig-pen. divisions, SO costing about five dollars complete.
arranged, when it may be done conveniently, that all will be entered from the barn lots. Gates should be built as strong as possible without destroying posts and hinges. They should be hinged to posts set four or five feet deep, thoroughly rammed with gravel when set. Posts of concrete reinforced with steel may be cheaply made, and when rightly designed will prove immovable fixtures.
The different barns for the stock-farm will conform to the use demanded of them, yet they will have some things in common. There will be a lower story, none of it beneath the ground, well-lighted by rows of windows, with the sashes hinged at the bottom and opening inward to permit fresh air to enter and flow over the animals without blowing directly on them. These basements will have in them no wooden sills, the posts resting on stone or, preferably, concrete piers. The floors will be of hard clay or concrete. Above this story will be one devoted to the storage of 'hay, straw or grain. Separate buildings will house swine, sheep, horses and dairy cows. The poultry will have their own building, and there is need of a large, simple shed for wagons and machinery. This should be so arranged that any machine or wagon may be driven
Fig. 185. A Maryland hog-house. This pen, facing south, admits the maximum amount of sunshine, at the same time that it gives good shelter and protects from the north and west winds.
beneath it and left there. The silo is indispensable when cows are kept in number.
Implements and machinery.
Given now the farm with suitable fields, with several small paddocks, not so small but that grass will grow well within them, with suitable buildings to care for whatever stock is to be kept, let us turn to the machinery of the farm. The plow is the primal implement; the best modern ones are walking-plows. Plowmen have largely discarded the sulky or wheeled types, as they cost at least twice as much, and unless carefully kept in order are less efficient, demanding also greater cost for repairs and maintenance. Plows are adapted to types of soils,—the chilled plows for stony ground, steel plows for loam, reversible plows for hillsides, where each furrow is turned down hill.
Steel harrows, with drag teeth that can be adjusted to different angles, are indispensable. Disc harrows are very efficient for soils without stone, especially when the land has run together by rain after being plowed, or to cut tough sods.
Flg. 186. Shed for hay feeding, showing simple construction. The feed-racks run lengthwise through the center.
cient, the concrete rollers best for grass lands, but too heavy for newly plowed fields. Rollers should be in two sections to admit of ready turning. The weight for meadows may be about 400 pounds per running foot; for cultivated fields, a third or fourth of that will serve.
The list of sowing machines, disc or hoe drills for wheat, oats, barley and grass seeds, machinery for planting corn in rows or checks, for planting one or two rows at a time, will depend on where the stock-farm is located. Harvesting machines for grain, and perhaps for corn as well, and farm wagons must be added to the equipment. The wagons should have wide tires and fairly low wheels, with platform beds seven feet wide and seventeen feet long, as low as it is possible to make them. On these beds are placed low side-boards for hauling grain or manure, while the platform serves for hay, straw or a dozen different uses.
The manure-spreader is a tool of great worth on the stock-farm, since by its use the farm manures are diffused over far wider areas and more evenly than is possible by hand. Thus the area of enriched soil is steadily increased, and the capacity of the farm to carry stock rapidly grows. Manures should be taken directly to the field and as fast as made.
There should be suitable dwellings near the barns and stables, for the attendants who look after the animals. On a stock-farm, the attention to small details is what brings success, and it is imperative that the attendants be close by.
Water is essential. It should be pure, conveniently placed in each pasture and paddock and near each barn. If the source of supply is a living spring that will flow directly to the troughs, the best system has been reached. Stagnant ponds are very likely to breed and disseminate disease. Wells should be drilled to avoid pollution, and water may be pumped from them to storage tanks, from which it will flow to each trough. Wind power is the cheapest form of pumping energy, and is available in most parts of the United States.
Windmills should have solid anchorage to the earth. The towers should be at least twelve feet higher than surrounding trees and buildings. A small wheel on a high tower will prove efficient when a large one lower down will be useless because of the weakness of the wind.
Pipes carrying water from mills should be one and one-half inches in diameter, to avoid unnecessary friction. Water troughs are best made of concrete (Fig. 188); although galvanized steel makes a cheaper and a very serviceable tank.
The capital required for operating a stock-farm will vary, according to the style of farm, from a few hundreds to many thousands of dollars. If the farm is to produce pure-bred stock for breeding purposes, the aim should be to invest in mother stock of very high quality, with sires of as good or better quality. In the breeding stock of such a farm most of the capital may well be invested.
A stallion, of the highest quality, among thoroughbreds may cost $40,000, and mares fit to mate him with from $10,000 upwards. The thoroughbred is the plaything of the very rich, with an occasional instance of a farm producing him for profit.
Among trotting horses, very high prices also prevail, when the highest quality is sought; and here, also, is the province of the man of wealth, though there is opportunity for men of moderate means to produce trotting horses that sell for gentlemen's drivers if they prove lacking in great speed.
The breeding of coach-horses and hackneys comes more within the province of the man of moderate capital. These mares may be had for sums from $500 to $5,000 each. It will be seen that, with any type of pure-bred horses, the sum invested in mother stock must be large; $10,000 to $500,000 may well be spent in buying the foundation stock.
The breeding of draft-horses is still more within the power of the man of moderate capital, as he
may use the
ft\Y$ft\ ^Mum maTM8 to do much of the farm labor, and the colts will be a side issue of profit. Good draft mares of Percheron o r Clydesdale blood may be bought unrecorded for Fig. 187. A portable feed-rack for sheep. £250 to $500
each, and when bred to a suitable stallion will bring colts worth as much as themselves. Such mares should not be overworked, but may do regular, moderate work to their own advantage and to that of the colt.
In breeding pedigreed cattle, large sums are needed to secure the best animals. Cows of the leading breeds may be said to range in price from $200 to $1,000 each, with some exceeding that
Fig. 188. The cement wateiing trough is supplanting the fast-decaying and leaky wooden troughs.
Very good sires may be had at prices ranging from $75 to $200 each.
With sheep, the stocking is comparatively cheap, unless a stud flock is established. Good breeding ewes seldom cast more than $5 each, and may often be bought for considerably less, while a ram of high class can be had for $25 to $50. It should ever be remembered that the ram is half the flock.
Pigs are comparatively inexpensive, especially as they are prolific and not many mothers are needed. Good sows can usually be bought for $15 to $30, and common ones for half this amount. The common ones may produce as good offspring as the others if pork and not breeding stock is the object.
Aside from the capital required to equip'with tools and stock, there is the need of money to conduct the year's work. This will amount to more than the novice has been led to expect. Expenses vary immensely according to the type and extent of the farm; but the writer, on a farm of 320 acres, growing about 350 tons of alfalfa hay, 3,500 bushels of maize, and 1,200 bushels of oats and barley, the whole fed to fattening lambs, calves
and pigs, excepting what is fed to the farm teams and a few colts, finds that the labor cost is about $2,000 per year, with an outlay for repairs and machinery of about $500. This is in Ohio, where labor is good and not so highly paid as in some other parts of America. Probably the cost of tools and machinery, including wagons, would be about $2,000 and of the working horses (10), $1,750.
SETTING UP A FARM DAIRY BUSINESS IN THE NORTHEASTERN STATES, AND WHAT IT COSTS.
By Jared Van Wagenen, Jr.
The amount of money invested in a dairy-farm will vary widely, of course, with the location of the farm, the character of the buildings and allied equipment, and the type of cows that go to make up the herd. In a general way it may be said that in the North Atlantic and Ohio valley states, dairying, by a process of natural selection, has been most highly developed on lands that are hilly, stony, or ill-adapted to general or grain-farming. A notable illustration of this is Delaware county, in New York,—a county of narrow valleys lying between rugged hills, where much of the land is suitable only for pasturage; thus, by force of circumstances, there has been built up what is perhaps the most intense and highly specialized dairy industry in the country. Nothing surprises the visitor so much as the great number of cows maintained in districts which for general farming purposes would be esteemed well-nigh worthless. Yet it is only fair to say that these dairy-farms labor under the great disadvantage of being largely dependent on purchased grain to supplement the natural resources of the farm. The cow is here in great numbers because dairy-farming is the type of agriculture particularly adapted to this region. When the land is fairly level, fertile and easily plowed, men have not, as a rule, been willing to milk many cows. It should be noted, however, that there is a strong tendency for the cow to push her
self into what were formerly the general farming regions, especially as decreasing fertility has shown the necessity of a policy of animal husbandry rather than soil-mining. In the Middle West especially, a great dairy industry has been developed on some of the most fertile and valuable lands.
From what has been said, it follows that the farms of the recognized dairy districts are not generally among the best or highest-priced lands. Still, this is a wrong conception, because good land is worth as much for keeping cows as for any other purpose. Lands in the dairy regions of the East are certainly not high-priced. There are farms with some good level fields, large areas of excellent upland pastures, fair buildings and reasonably convenient markets, that can be purchased for small amounts—say $25 per acre. Some of these cheap farms have large dairy possibilities, but nearly all the barns will need extensive alterations before they will conform well to modern requirements for a dairy-barn. Yet the massive hewn frames of old-time barns are generally a valuable asset when it comes to repairing them. There are few dairy-farms in the East, even with good land and up-to-date buildings, that, when offered for sale, will bring more than $75 per acre.
The amount of land required per cow will vary within the widest possible limits, depending much on the natural capabilities of the soil, and still more on the system employed and the skill of the farmer. There are so-called dairy-farms where a careless and slipshod husbandry requires 200 acres for the support of a dozen or twenty cows. Under ordinary New York conditions, thirty cows are frequently kept on 100 acres, while further south, where the two-crop system can be followed and where the herd is maintained in summer by
of their lives, here their food supply will be stored, and here the labor of caring for them will be performed. Hygienic stabling demands at least a reasonable amount of light—direct sunlight as far as possible—and the best attainable ventilation. The
Fig. 191. Interior of a sanitary dairy-bam.
older practice was to endeavor to provide pure air for the animals by giving a large cubic space per cow, without making any especial provisions for introducing a fresh supply. The more recent idea is to have rather small, low stables, and then, by a system of ventilating flues, constantly to remove the vitiated air and bring in fresh air in its place. The idea has been popularized under the name of the "King system." In a general way, stables should be built mainly above ground, and not virtually basements, as was the prevailing practice a generation or two ago. Stables should have an abundance of windows on all sides where light is available. Cement rather than plank floors may be regarded as almost indispensable. The first cost of such floors is not much greater than of well-laid plank, and they are far more satisfactory in every way, being smooth, water-tight, sanitary and practically indestructible. If distinctly high-grade milk is to be produced, a tight-matched ceiling is very desirable to prevent dust particles falling into the milk from overhead. The temperature of a good cow stable should never fall to freezing even in the severest weather, and this condition may easily be attained by a double-boarded wall, i. e., by matched lumber and building paper on each side of the studding, with a dead-air space, or, what is more efficient, a chaff packing between. With driving winds and a temperature twenty degrees below zero, a stable must have animals enough to fill it fairly well and not have too high ceilings.
It is not easy to overestimate the importance of securing an arrangement of barns that will make it convenient to "do the chores." Many barns have been built where the health and comfort of the cows have been well looked after, but almost no thought has been given to the problem of getting the feed to the cows and of removing the manure. So we find hay dragged by the forkful through long, narrow alleys, ensilage carried in baskets from remote corners, and manure removed in wheelbarrows—very unnecessary burdens added to a task which is at best laborious. A very con